What is the movie about?
Ravi (Vaishnav Tej) is a village boy who has completed his studies but is struggling to get a job. He fails in multiple interviews due to lack of confidence and self-confidence.
After many rejections, Ravi returns to his village to escape the bustle of the city. Unfortunately, he is greeted with drafts and terrible conditions. He is forced to do Konda Polam activity to help the sheep survive that would otherwise starve to death. How Konda Polam changes Ravi’s life is the plot of the film.
In his second appearance, Vaishnav Tej has chosen another recognizable role. The struggle of a small-town boy with a lack of self-confidence is recognisable. There is a visible expression of the stone face and it suits the character. The fear aspect is beautifully captured.
But there’s a lot more to Ravi’s character. It is not so convincingly portrayed by Vaishnav Tej. The clean-shaven look and single expression don’t help the cause. The romance and growth in confidence should have been conveyed clearly. However, the small change gives hope in the end. Perhaps the serious face everywhere is what the director intended.
Krish directs Konda Polam. It is based on a novel of the same name written by Sannapureddy Venkata Rami Reddy. The novelist is credited with the story and dialogues.
Konda Polam opens with the interview series and then the whole story is told in flashback. If the plot of coming of age wasn’t predictable, this even makes it clear.
We are soon transported to a village in Rayalaseema. A large number of artists greet us with a sweet and lively rooted ‘Seema’ slang. It is maintained that way for authenticity. It also gives freshness to the procedure.
The many artists and the language also cause a bit of chaos at first. However, things soon settle down. The start to KondaPolam and the first heat in the wooded terrain give a really warm feeling. It makes us look forward to the procedure.
The way Ravi slowly learns the way of the mountains, the relationship with nature and animals are all captivatingly portrayed. The life lessons are smoothly integrated into the story.
However, the problem is slowly creeping in through the scenario. The story begins to swing. Some characters seem to appear out of nowhere and the attacking and fighting back, they all lack a cohesive character.
In the beginning there is a neatly built and growing relationship between Ravi and Obu. Teasing and giving lessons to be able to adjust the terrain are all good in the theme at first. However, the further development of the romance between the two has not been convincingly done. It feels so abrupt and kills the flow of the movie.
Likewise, the track with the red sanders is not etched properly. We understand why it’s done, but the way it’s done and posted has no effect.
The second half resumes with the issues that arose at the end of the first and takes them to the next level. The abrupt placement of numbers, the lack of clarity with the course, the introduction of new characters, etc., create a messy feeling after a point.
There are some good moments in between, but the bad scenario doesn’t allow the story to reach the high level it aims for.
After much convolution and digression, the ending is well done. It gives a positive feeling and gives an emotional high. The problem is that by then people have lost interest.
Overall, Konda Polam’s predictable premise is heightened by its unique background. It initially runs with it, but is eventually undone by a meandering and unappealing story. Give it a try if you want to see something new in content, but keep expectations very low.
Rakul Preet Singh and others?
Rakul Preet Singh gets a good part after a long hiatus in Telugu. It is a typical part but has a lot of fun and heart. Rakul Preet does well to get the desired effect. Among the many supporting parts, Sai Chand easily stands out. He is great in his role as a father and shepherd. Ravi Prakash gets a great scene to show his dramatic skills. The rest are also good in the small roles.
Music and other departments?
MM Keeravani’s music fits the story well. A few songs act as speed breakers and are redundant, however. The background score is great. The chorus ‘Raiyya Raiyya’ is infectious and stays with us even after leaving the hall. The cinematography of Gnanasekhar is excellent. The rustic village locations and forest background are beautifully captured. The editing could have been better. Sometimes you feel lost and losing sight of things. The writing is wonderful. Amidst all the good engineering work, the VFX comes across as a sore thumb. It’s poor.
A more focused story with a better integration of romance was the need of the hour. It could have been if the love track had started earlier between Ravi and Obu. The sequel also needs some editing.
Did I enjoy it?
Yes, in parts
Will you recommend it?
Yes, but with huge reservations
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